GILBERT, Ariz. – The Columbia field hockey team finished the 2017-18 fall semester with a team GPA of 3.66, which was the second highest among Division I institutions, to earn the National Field Hockey Coaches Association’s Academic (NFHCA) Team Award. This marks the 15th consecutive year the Lions have earned this distinction. Additionally, 16 members of the program were named to the NFHCA National Academic Squad and three more were selected as Scholars of Distinction.

The Lions were edged only by Brown (3.74) and were one of 74 schools recognized. To earn the accolade, a team must finish the 2017 fall semester with a cumulative GPA above 3.0.

The Division I National Academic Squad program recognizes those student-athletes who have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.30 or higher through the first semester of the 2017-18 academic year. Maaike Blindenbach, Danielle Buttinger, Alexa Conomikes, Lauren Crane, Katie Dempsey, Maeve Doherty, Kelsey Farkas, Whitney Hartstone, Katie Koester, Kelly McCarthy, Grace Payne, Emily Pedrick, Rebecca Pope, Helen Sayegh, Michelle Thompson, Jennifer Trieschman were the individuals selected for the honor. The selections of Crane and Thompson are the fourth of their careers.

On Thursday, March 22, the NFHCA announced that Maaike Blindenbach, Alexa Conomikes and Helen Sayegh were named Division I Scholars of Distinction. This award recognizes student-athletes who have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.90 or higher through the fall semester of the 2017-18 academic year. Columbia was one of three Ivy League programs to have at least three members on the list (Brown - 7, Harvard - 5).

“We as a staff know how hard our young women work in both the classroom and on the pitch," stated head coach Caroline Nelson Nichols. "It is still amazing to see that these efforts are being recognized and rank so high among our peers across Division I and the Ivy League. We are so honored to receive this award from the NFHCA and I am so incredibly proud of these young women.”